Developments in technology, combined with the ubiquitous nature of broadband and mobile phones, have changed the way in which business is done, enabling increased flexibility, mobility and cost savings that will make it easier to get through these tougher times. So here are some ideas on what you can do…
Encourage Flexible Working
The logistical nightmare associated with remote and mobile working is now a thing of the past. It couldn’t be easier to set up broadband access, PCs and web-based phone systems from the home. Your staff will appreciate the flexibility and it will mean greater cost-effectiveness and efficiency for your business.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Hardware
What is the point in having a separate fax machine, scanner, printer and copier when you can have an all-in-one multifunctional device? Likewise expensive phone systems and CRM software can be replaced with easy to use web-based and ALLmobile alternatives, offering the same functionality at much lower prices.
With corporate mobile tariffs currently such good value for money you’re better off reducing the telephony duplication and getting rid of landlines that sit idle on the desk for most of the day, with minimum charges still payable for each line rental. BT isn’t a charity – you don’t need to keep donating!
Beware of False Cost Savings
Cutting overheads is all about finding the clever IT alternatives, and not compromising on quality. Apparent savings can cost an arm and a leg if the quality is so poor that you need to replace your systems, or pay for costly engineer time on finding work-around solutions. VoIP is a prime example. It’s meant to be cheap but costs the earth in engineer time, new broadband connections and you still end up saying ‘I can’t hear you. I’ll call you back from my mobile’.
Finally Re-evaluate your Contracts
Of course your usual telephony suppliers will want to tie you into inflexible long term contracts – they’re trying to make a profit too. But don’t commit to paying for 1,000 mobile minutes a month if you’ll only use 200. Long-term binding investments, like buying a new PBX or leasing a new phone system for 18 months, are not sensible given the up-and-down nature of the economy.